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Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory.
If you look at my last songs and first short stories, there is a real connection between them.
I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.
I was a little concerned that a lot of people thought I wrote Merchant Ivory movies. I also thought if I was ever going to write something strange and difficult, that was the time.
I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.
I had been plunged into a different world. I found myself spending half my time answering weird questions on book tours in the Midwest. People would stand up and explain to me the situation in their office and ask me whether they should resign or not.
I felt slightly superior to student politics, for instance. I had no reason to think this, but I thought of myself as slightly more seasoned. I became quite cynical talking to my student friends.
I do feel part of that generation of people who were rather idealistic in the '70s and became disillusioned in the '80s. Not just about social services issues, but the world.
I couldn't speak Japanese very well, passport regulations were changing, I felt British, and my future was in Britain. And it would also make me eligible for literary awards. But I still think I'm regarded as one of their own in Japan.
As a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.
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